Edistraw – The Straw You Can Eat
A large number of countries are working on banning plastic and implementing strategies on how to reduce the waste caused by it. The European Union has a plan to ban all plastic utensils including straws, forks, knives, and even cotton buds by 2021. Mirko Nikolovski is a guy from North Macedonia who contributes towards those tactics in his own country. He established Edistraw Co., a company that produces edible drinking straws.
“Since when I was in high school, I started to take care of nutrition and started to cook by myself. That’s when my love for food started. When I went to study in the capital, I had two choices: to eat unhealthy food or to cook; I chose the second one.” – explains Mirko.
Mirko is a student at the IT University in Skopje. Together with a colleague from the faculty, they worked on maintaining a website about cafes and restaurants. That’s when he got the idea about the edible straw and ventured into entrepreneurship. He established the company a year ago with its original idea being production of edible spoons. However, after a made research, he concluded that in North Macedonia the usage of plastic spoons is not that common compared to straws. Additionally, the production of the spoons was complicated; either they were too hard to eat or too soft to be used. Another thing was the fact that plastic utensils can be recycled as opposed to straws. His inspiration was also the EU law for banning plastic.
“I was not that ready to start the project until I didn’t read the information regarding the law. It’s a serious thing.”- adds Mirko.
The Edistraws are produced in Mirko’s hometown of Radovish. The mixture for the products consists of 3 types of flour, sugar, water, and some secret spices. They are created with the help of a machine that shapes them. Then they are baked and stay on open for some time and after that they are packed. The Edistraws come in different tastes, colors, and sizes. The straws themselves have a duration of 9 months, and when put in a drink they can last for an hour. Mirko says that with the process of production he gets a lot of help from his family.
Mirko presented the Edistraws for the first time at the Social Impact Awards (SIA) where he was one of the winners. As a result of that, he got to travel to Kyiv where he met with other entrepreneurs from 16 different European countries.
“My sister Marija and I who are both part of the Edistraw team met with people with similar ideas and shared experiences on how different ideas function in different countries. It’s interesting to hear that something that you thought was impossible it’s functioning very well somewhere.”- says Mirko.
Edistraw is the only type of bio straw produced in the Balkan region. Mirko’s current plans are to expand his business in other countries of the region and introduce Edistraw there. He is also thinking about producing other-types of edible products like small coffee spoons and even mugs.